Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas in Memphis: Mom Edition

Susie Moore is a saint. I challenge any reader of this blog to find a person who would not concur. No one in the Moore family even approaches the level of virtue this woman holds, especially not dad (that dude is the worst). However, with my mother's unconditional patience, compassion and innocence comes the inherent quality of, you know...just kind of...she's totally naive. This is a woman who sincerely thanks telemarketers for their calls and apologizes for not "being interested this offer." She actually learns life lessons from Dr. Phil and Oprah because she cares. And even to this day, she tries to get her adult children to sit in her lap for a cuddle when they don't feel good. Streetwise, she makes Princess Diana look like Tupac.

Luckily, my mother has a husband with an almost supernatural power of accurately determining the motives of those around him, and, subsequently, anticipating any emotional, financial, moral disaster being brought on by others. I say luckily now that I'm in my twenties, but this quality of my father's was profoundly irritating when I was teenager, having a dad who figured out I had a secret boyfriend by the color of my socks.

Whenever anyone tries to teach my mom about the things of the world, she gets the same bewildered, you-aren't-giving-these-nice-folks-the-benefit-of-the-doubt look on her face. Like the time we tried to explain that yes, movie executives are trying to be offensive.

Note: Remember, my mother is Southern, so adjust your internal-reading accent accordingly.
Julia: *says hilarious, family-friendly joke*
Mom: Oh, Julia! That sounds like something they'd say in that new movie "The Little Fockers"! That looks so cute, I wanna see it!
Whole Family: *silence*
Julia: Mom? You want to see that movie? It's probably going to be raunchy...
Mom: *scandalized* What? Why do you think that? There are kids in it!
Dad: The name Focker isn't just coincidentally close to a bad word, Susie.
Mom: *thinky face* Oh, you don't know that!! *deflated smile*
Whole Family: *laughing*
Sloan: *awkwardly loud* The man's name in the movie is Gaylord Focker! *scans the crowd for reactions*
Whole Family: *silence*
Julia: *pats Sloan on back reassuringly* Thanks for that, baby.

There are plenty of times when others have to intervene when mom volunteers to get trampled on by those willing and unwilling alike. This is a scene from this Christmas in Memphis, when I needed to go to the DMV to change the name on my license.

Julia: *walks into kitchen with Sloan*
Mom: You're already back! That was easy!
Julia: *sigh* No, we just left. There were, literally, probably 200 people waiting. The line to even get a number was wrapped around and out the door.
Mom: Oh no, baby! 
Julia: Yeah, it's not worth it. I'd have to wait 4-6 hours. 
Mom: Well, you know, I can just wait there for you! 
Julia: *bewildered* What? No.
Mom: Sure! I can bring a magazine, and really, I just like sitting quietly. It's one of my favorite things to do. 
Julia: *rubbing temples* Mother, I am offended that you would think I'd let you do that.
Mom: *gasp* Baby! I don't mind!You can go shopping with Sloan and I'll call you when my number gets close.
Julia: Absolutely not.
*three hours later*
Mom: *knocks on Julia's bedroom door* Heeey, so, I just could take these magazines and a sandwich in my purse, maybe a little blanket, and I'd be good to go at the DMV--
Julia: NO. 
Mom: *backs out of room*

My mother, who will not deny this, is also wary of technology. She has not checked her email since June. I see this as an extension of her sincere desire to do all the things in the world that need to get done to help other people feel happy and loved. Too overwhelming. This is a scene from last year, when she visited Sloan and me in Utah.

Julia: Do you have Aunt Miriam's cell phone number?
Mom: Oh, no, I don't think so. I had it in an email back home.
Julia: Perfect! We can just look it up then.
Mom: *furrowed brow* No, baby, it's at home.
Julia: But...*points at laptop*...we have a computer here.
Mom: Yes, that's true. *reassuring smile* It's very nice, too.
Julia: *tilts head sideways* Mom. Do you know how...the....internet works?
Mom: Oh, baby, no way! I just go to the computer room and open up the internet there!
Julia: You can get to your email from my computer, too. Here, I'll go to bellsouth.net *ticky ticky tap ticky tap* and now just enter your password.
Mom: *sideways glance*
Julia: ...and you probably have a saved password on the computer at home. *places arm around mom's shoulders* You don't know your password, do you?
Mom: *shakes head*

Mooooooooooooooooooooooms! They're great!


  1. I totally agree with you, except the part where I have absolutely NO virtue. But you describe Zannah to a T. Loved having you guys home and thanks for the help at work by both of you.

  2. I love reading all of your posts...and I love your mom. Hope yall had a good Christmas in TN.

  3. I. Am. CRYING. I can't stop laughing. Aaron thinks I am totally insane, over here, lauging, no cackling, at my computer desk all alone. And I read all those conversations with your mom's voice in my head. I love that woman!